Intimacy, A Path Toward Spirituality

Relationships and mindful living.

Deconstructing the Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection often holds us back in life. As we find the strength to gently embrace our feelings of loss without being self-critical, we can move toward healing and feel more empowered to love and be loved. Read More

Rejection means you don't develop into the person you want to be.

That's always been my take on rejection, and my fear... that I will only be allowed to grow and develop as a person, as much as others' enthusiastic consent will allow me. If I'm rejected, then respect for the other's boundaries demands that I be OK with that. Even as the rejection has taken another moment away in which I may have counted as personal and social werewithal. Even as I lose another opportunity to practice personal skills... because like all skills, they are muscles and they atrophy if not used. Being a decent person requires finding equanimity, even joy, in the other's unilateral decision and moving on... forever.
I don't learn as well from failure as from success. Rejection means my life experience counts for less.

Because we become who we are in large part through our relationships, bcause we are social animals, we don't think experience gathered alone is worth as much as experience shared with others. We can't learn to be a lover, not in any way but vicariously, if another person does not consent and operate with us to provide that romantic experience. We don't learn to be persuasive without successfully persuading others to our point of view. (How many are required, really, before we earn the right to call ourselves persuasive? One a week, a few a month?)

Furthermore

You could go so far as to that every human relationship on earth-- marital, friendship, romantic, business, hiring, bands, clubs-- is the result of successful reciprocation. All people involved liking each other's signals, and deciding to remain with each other. All choosing not to reject each other. Serendipity.

It's sobering to see how much of life depends on serendipity. And therefore, anything that demands mutual consent is not something you can have high expectations for attaining. You cannot confidently say you will be married when you grow up, have children, be popular, be hired for a specific job. Because there is always someone else's point of view at work, and sometimes it will override yours.

I continue to open myself up

I continue to open myself up to life despite continual rejection. There must be light at the end of the tunnel, I just have to keep going till I find it.
My mother and husband continue to dish out rejection of real love, each due to their own mental illness. the worst rejection though came from the friend who has been my saviour, he pulled me in and threw me away with no reason, leaving me with an uncertain future.
I refuse to harden my heart and run from rejection, love will find me...I just hope its soon.

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John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT, is the author of Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships and Love & Betrayal.

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